COMMUNITY CENTRE FACTS and FINANCES- Part 2

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Community Centre Sign

In a recent article I set the scene on the Community Centre finances, discussing mainly the new lease and future investment proposals. This article looks in more detail at the day-to-day finances.
Even though a new lease has not yet been signed, the Committee of Management has been operating the Centre since April 2013 as if it were signed. On the one hand this means that since this date the Committee has had to pay CWaC, the Landlord, about double the "rent" (strictly speaking not rent but a share of the running costs) that it was paying under the old lease. On the other hand the Committee has been able to let the space during the day and this opportunity, through a lot of hard work, has generated more income. Consequently although the new rent is about £1900 per month, the income from lettings broadly covers this figure.
However, the income from lettings does not generate a sufficient surplus to pay for improvements. For this reason the Committee promotes a wide range of events aimed at all sections of the community. It is these events which not only entertain community users, but also generate the surpluses to finance improvements. This policy has been successful. As stated in the previous article £30,000 is currently available, but more will be required to finance the new kitchen and the bar/lounge improvements and the other aspirations the Committee has in the pipeline.
One of the additional ways the Committee generates money at events is by running a bar which sells alcohol, soft drinks and snacks. The pricing policy operated aims to make a small profit on each transaction, and compared to other outlets prices are very competitive and the quality high.
Before the Centre acquired a full licence there had been a tradition, at some events, of individuals bringing their own drink. With the new licence this is no longer necessary or appropriate. The Committee does not want to ban individuals from bringing their own drink/snacks nor does it not want to impose some kind of "corkage" scheme. Rather it would prefer individual users to voluntarily stop bringing their own drink and food and to use the Centre bar. The Committee appreciates that this might mean individuals spending a little more, but it would mean that they would fall into line with the majority of users and would know that their contribution is helping to secure the long term future of the Centre and its continued improvement.
(Ed. Ted Lush is the Parish Council representative on the Committee of Management)